Controversy continues around senator, company

RALEIGH LEA is based in Raleigh and makes and sells undercover surveillance products, from tiny cameras to devices that can spot bombs under cars.

The company is denying claims by a former CEO that Rand, a state senator while chairman of LEA's Board of Directors, was involved in insider stock trading.

"I just don't think it's an issue," LEA Chief Financial Officer Paul Briggs said.

LEA's CEO says he sees nothing wrong with having Rand and another former state official on the board. Briggs also says he sees nothing wrong with the current governor, former governor and other prominent Democrats owning thousands of shares of LEA stock.

However Briggs says he does see why, with those connections, getting nearly $200,000 in no-bid contracts with the state might raise eyebrows.

"I do, I do," Briggs said. "And, in some of those instances, you know, we could be the only company that would offer that product. So, it's a little misleading."

Briggs says LEA has much bigger contracts with many other states.

"I was surprised that the numbers weren't higher than they were," Briggs said. "I was really disappointed to tell you the truth. We're a Raleigh based company and would have thought we would have done more business with the state of North Carolina."

Briggs also says if there's an investigation, LEA's got nothing to hide.

"The company is on the up-and-up," he said. We try to be as public as we can and as open as we can since we are a public company, so I would have no problem."

Prior to all the controversy, Rand recently resigned his position as Senate Majority Leader.

He will leave his seat and take over the North Carolina Probation and Parole Office.

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